Three YATS Thespians Awarded SLT Scholarships
Three senior high school graduates of Slidell Little Theatre’s renowned summer youth theatre program – Young Actors Theatre of Slidell (YATS) – were recently awarded scholarships to help further their studies in the performing arts.
The only summer theatre program on the northshore to offer scholarships to graduating participants, Slidell Little Theatre’s YATS program has awarded more than $53,000 in scholarships since 2000 to local high school graduates.
The 2015 Lonnie Haas Scholarship recipients are: Lauren Short, Jamie Schmidt and Madelyn Thomassie, all graduates of Northshore High School in Slidell.
|Lauren Short in|
Lauren Short has been a YATS participant for the past three years. She has enjoyed her roles as one of Reno’s angels in Anything Goes, Deborah Sue in Bye Bye Birdie, and a Delta Nu/Cheerleader in Legally Blonde. She performed this year in Northshore High School’s production of Througly Modern Millie as a stenographer and the New Modern.
Lauren has been a competitive dancer at Danceworks for twelve years. She has trained in a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip-hop. Lauren performed her first solo this year which won many awards. She was the captain of Danceworks Parade Marching Group.
Lauren graduated from Northshore High School with a 4.0 GPA. She was the Treasurer of the National Honors Society, Student Council Representative, and a school ambassador. Lauren will be attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette this fall. She plans to major in psychology and minor in dance. Lauren is grateful for the YATS program which gave her the opportunity to experience theatre and is for thankful the scholarship which will allow her to continue her love in the performing arts.
Jamie Schmidt has been involved in the theatre since she was 7 years old and absolutely loves performing onstage. Some of her most recent roles were: Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Truvy in Steel Magnolias, and Paulette in Legally Blonde. The last main stage shows you would have seen her in at Slidell Little Theatre would be in Show Boat and Pippin. Jamie has also served as a counselor in the mini-YATS program for 3 years.
|Jamie Schmidt in Legally Blonde|
Jamie graduated with a 4.4 weighted GPA, ranking in the top 5% of her graduating class at Northshore High School. Jamie was the President of Thespian Troupe #7333 at NHS her senior year. She has also received numerous awards at NHS including Honor Thespian recognition, Best Female Thespian for two years in a row, Best Supporting Actress for two years in a row, and Best Leading Actress. Jamie will attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall where she plans to Major in Elementary Education and Minor in Theatre. Jamie would like to thank YATS and Slidell Little Theatre for the scholarship and being such a big reason why theatre is such an important part of her life.
Madelyn Thomassie is an 18 year old graduate of Northshore Highschool. Madelyn has participated in 12 YATS shows. She was Vice President of the Thespian Troupe at Northshore High School her senior year. Madelyn has also been dancing for 14 years.
This year she has received honor thespian recognition and won best actress in a leading role for her work as Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie. In previous years, she has won best newcomer and best supporting actress twice. She has won a Ginny here at Slidell Little Theatre for her role as Mayzie La Bird in Seussical the Musical.
At the national thespian convention, she won second place for her musical theatre number. She also competed for a scholarship at the convention and won second place for a solo song and monologue. Madelyn plans to major in Theatre at the University of New Orleans. Madelyn would like to thank YATS and Slidell Little Theatre for being a major part of her growth as an actress.
Lonnie Hass was a leading force behind the founding of Slidell Little Theatre’s Youth Workshop program in the 1970s, serving as its first chairperson. When the Youth Workshop was restructured in the late 1990s, organizers envisioned a scholarship program for participants in the newly-formed YATS program.
As the youth program grew and monies could be set aside, the Lonnie Haas Scholarship Program was officially established to provide financial support for participants graduating from high school and going on to study the performing arts in college.
The YATS program is designed to introduce young people between the ages of four and graduating high school seniors to the stage.
The Mini-YATS program engages children ages four to eight for five days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which they learn their lines, music and blocking, make their props and costumes if necessary. The week culminates in a performance on Saturday morning.
Slidell Little Theatre has been the north shore’s premier theatre since 1963. SLT is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.